Green fields plan on show

A COMPANY’S plans to build on the Roberttown-Hartshead border have gone on show to the public.

Gear technology firm David Brown has drafted designs for two modern buildings on Mirfield Moor off the A62 to house part of its existing manufacturing operation, offices for its sales and engineering teams and a new wind innovation centre.

The company, based in Huddersfield since 1860, would move nearly two-thirds of its 450-strong workforce from Lockwood to the new facilities if given planning permission.

Wayne Ball, general manager of the UK facility, said he wanted to assure local people that there would be no wind turbines.

He said: “The wind innovation centre is a specialist unit for repairing and overhauling wind turbine gear boxes. There will be no wind turbines up there. Our business is only the mechanism.”

He said the centre would also be used for designing and testing news gears after the company won a £2.2m government grant for a test rig.

Last Friday, more than 170 people visited a public exhibition about the scheme and gave feedback before the company submits its plans to Kirklees Council.

Paul Cusworth, who lives in Bracken Close, Mirfield, said he was worried about the impact on nearby roads.

He said: “They’ve said the way the shifts operate, it won’t clash with peak times.

“Overall it’s a sensitive development, but we still have concerns about the traffic volumes.”

Mirfield MP Simon Reevell (Con) said the facility had the potential to create jobs, but that didn’t necessarily mean it was right for the M25 site.

He said: “I’m slightly concerned when you count the number of parking spaces. There are serious questions to be asked about whether Leeds Road can cope with that.”

Mr Ball said council highways officers had rated the company as low road users: “The roads are a lot narrower in Lockwood and we don’t have any issues there,” he said. “We’re also looking at improvements to the area.”

The plans include road markings and central islands to lower speeds on Leeds Road and an on-site bus stop .